Tamkeen plans $212m spending for 2014
Manama, March 30, 2014
Bahrain's labour fund Tamkeen said its total programme expenditure for this year is likely to hit around BD80 million ($212 million), the highest it will ever spend on support programmes.
The announcement came after the authority's first board meeting of the year where the members reviewed last year's management report and financial statements, as well as the progress of a number of key programmes.
The board also reviewed the progress of the ongoing impact assessments and restructuring process of Tamkeen's programmes currently being conducted, as part of the 2014 operational plan's objectives of enhancing quality, being more customer-oriented, and achieving better results to serve the dynamic needs of the market, said the statement from Tamkeen.
Among the programmes discussed was the Enterprise Development Support programme, which has served 7,600 businesses since its launch, with Tamkeen's contribution exceeding BD46.3 million as of December last year.
The Enterprise Development Support programme consists of a number of support schemes, mainly 'Istishara', 'Tarweej', 'Jawda', 'Techania' and 'Tasweeq'.
Of the businesses served by the programme last year, most were more than five years old, with 1,727 businesses receiving a contribution amount of BD16.3 million, said the company.
This was followed by businesses between one and five years old, which totalled 1,272 and a contribution amount of BD10.2 million.
According to Tamkeen, the start-ups (less than one year old) came in at 696, with a contribution amount of BD5.6 million.
In line with Tamkeen's drive to enhance quality, be more customer-oriented, and achieve better results, the board approved a decision to temporarily suspend the Enterprise Development Support programme until the restructuring process is completed.
The suspension takes effect from today.
During the interim period, the programme's processes and procedures will be reviewed to make them more efficient and effective as per the outcomes of the public consultation sessions, as well as look into various control measures to prevent fraud and abuse, it added.
In the meantime, the team will focus on processing the applications already in the pipeline, which total around 2,500, and customers will be contacted directly by Tamkeen.
Tamkeen plans to resume receiving applications for the programme in September, said Tamkeen in its statement.
"Participants in the consultation sessions agreed that the Enterprise Development Support programme is vital as it offers various services with tangible positive impact on the performance of businesses in Bahrain," stated Tamkeen chairman and acting chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa.
"At the same time, the participants also stressed the need to find sustainable solutions to expedite this process. This is precisely what we are going to focus on achieving," Shaikh Mohammed added.
In addition, the board also reviewed the preparations for Tamkeen's first public consultation for the year scheduled to be held tomorrow and on Tuesday. The outcomes of the forum will be incorporated in Tamkeen's overall strategy for 2015-2017, the statement added.-TradeArabia News Service